Half a million faithful expected to flock to Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in Des Plaines

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Des Plaines, IL
DES PLAINES -- Despite the snow, the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines is expected to draw close to a half million people in the next 24 hours.

Overnight, hundreds of faithful will carry torches from the shrine to their home parishes throughout the suburbs and Chicago neighborhoods.

There is just not enough snow to snuff out the faith of a half a million Catholics making their way by the Mother of God.

If anything, the steady snow only adds to the splendor of the shrine. The faithful of all ages come with flowers candles and their prayers. Parishioners recreate the day Mary is said to have appeared to Juan Diego back in the 16th century.
continue at WGN

via Chicago Tribune
As snow fell steadily outside, Mauro Garcia warmed himself in the concessions tent at the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in Des Plaines, preparing for a five-hour walk back to his parish in Chicago.

Garcia was one of tens of thousands who journeyed — many on foot in the near-blizzard conditions — to Des Plaines' Maryville Academy campus, home to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to mark the annual two-day feast day celebration that opened Sunday night.

Garcia said he doesn't mind the cold, but he knew some of his fellow congregants would struggle during the snowy trek back to their home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Albany Park. He said those who falter would be helped along by fellow parishioners, and that's when "your faith really gets tested."

The pilgrimage is a symbol of sacrifice, he said, and "it's a way to pay back for what you've asked for" over the course of the year.
continue at Chicago Tribune

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